I was at my local Kroger a couple weeks ago when I spotted a vague sign for something called Summerfest. Without thinking much of it, I wondered if it was some summer concert series with a mismatched amalgamation of bands. Ani DiFranco, Slipknot and Death Cab for Cutie on stage all together! Turns out it was a beer display, which brought much joy to my heart.
According to Kroger, summer beer begins with Bud Select, Miller Lite Chill, Bud Light and Labatt Blue. But located on the bottom of the pile was something I had never laid eyes on before. It read: Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager. I was very excited, “Look Evie, Summerfest Beer from Sierra Nevada!,” I exclaimed to my one year old daughter. Ignoring the looks from the super judgey Moms around me, I grabbed a 12 pack and added it to my cart.
Summerfest advertises itself as a “pilsner style lager” which prepared me for something new from my old buddies from Chico, CA. This wasn’t going to be the hoppy blast of their amazing pale ale or their rich smoky stout. I prepared my taste buds with some homemade Mexicali Dip and popped open my first bottle.
The first drink went down very crisp, with a lemony flavor. I could tell this was going to be a very light drinking experience, the kind of beer that demands you have more than one. But what hit me the most was the pleasant floral finish, something akin to what you get from Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, but very subtle. It made what was going to be a good beer, very good, bordering on great. All in all a very solid effort, easily in the same league as Sam Adams Summer Ale and Bell’s Oberon to name two.
If you expect a pleasurable drinking experience from Sierra Nevada Summerfest, you will not be disappointed. Overall, I recommend that the beer loving EP readership give Summerfest a shot. It will not disappoint, and provides a new and welcome addition to the summer beer selection.